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willrwilli
01-22-2013, 05:23 PM
My 2003 sprinter just had new glow plugs and a new module installed and it is still hard to start in cold weather. Last week I had trouble starting it and after a few tries the battery died. I connected jumper cables let my other car run for about 10 minutes and it started up on the first try. This happened twice so I purchased a new battery. Yesterday at 25 degrees it started right up. Today 9 degrees -14 with wind chill, it would not start. tried for about 30 minutes and it did not fire. Although the battery was not dead I said what the heck and connected the jumper cables, let the other car run for 15 minutes, and the van started up on the first try. I am hoping this is something simple but I have no Idea. Dealer who did the glow plugs said they think it may be fuel related. What do you all think?

Oilburner
01-22-2013, 05:49 PM
As temporary winter fix, I would suggest to use electric heater, if you have acces to electric (if you don't park your van on the street for example). This inexpensive heater can make your engine warm at your desired time.
Some posts on this subject you find here.
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8875&highlight=block+heater&page=4

Aqua Puttana
01-22-2013, 06:53 PM
Additional power from a jump start usually does little for truly gelled fuel.

Given your symptoms I'd first be checking all the cable connections and related parts of the heavy amp electrical system. Inspect the battery connector cable attachments proper. If corrosion has crept in then they can be a problem even when the battery post connections are good. There have been reports of compromised common ground points. At least visually inspect them all.

I don't think that the T1N suffers the same cable common point connection weakness as the NCV3. Still any connection should be suspect until verified good.

Just suggestions, not a diagnosis. vic

My 2003 sprinter just had new glow plugs and a new module installed and it is still hard to start in cold weather. Last week I had trouble starting it and after a few tries the battery died. I connected jumper cables let my other car run for about 10 minutes and it started up on the first try. This happened twice so I purchased a new battery. Yesterday at 25 degrees it started right up. Today 9 degrees -14 with wind chill, it would not start. tried for about 30 minutes and it did not fire. Although the battery was not dead I said what the heck and connected the jumper cables, let the other car run for 15 minutes, and the van started up on the first try. I am hoping this is something simple but I have no Idea. Dealer who did the glow plugs said they think it may be fuel related. What do you all think?

uglied
01-22-2013, 07:35 PM
My 2003 was hard to start in cold weather. Plugged in block heater. Now starts on 1st turn over of motor. Did replace battery a short time ago and that made a differance.

abittenbinder
01-22-2013, 08:03 PM
There are many variables that come into play to perform a successful cold start which can be related to starter RPM, even with a new battery.

Cold start rail pressure, for instance, can be very starter motor RPM sensitive because of multiple issues, leak-off being the most common.

In your case maybe a tired starter motor is being helped by upping the supply voltage.

If your starter motor is relatively healthy, minor injector leak-off (and/or 612 rail solenoid seal leak-off) may make your Sprinter extra sensitive to starting rpm during a cold start.

Doktor A

willrwilli
01-22-2013, 08:19 PM
Well dealer can't see me until next Wednesday. I just ordered this

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8XDFS/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

I will see if that helps. The heater is a whole lot cheaper than several hours at the dealer.

cahaak
01-22-2013, 09:24 PM
Not sure what oil you are using, but a 0W or 5W oil will help considerably in cold starting conditions. If you have the ESPAR heater and it is not wired to run from a switch or timer. You should consider doing the mod to make it so. -10 F here and with the engine preheated with the ESPAR, no issues whatsoever. It is a worthwhile job to do if you have frequent cold weather.

Chris

willrwilli
01-22-2013, 09:56 PM
Not sure on the specific weight, but I know it is a 0w. I will be getting the pan heater tomorrow and I should have time to install it. It sucks because it was 50 degree in Cleveland most of last week and now we won't be above freezing until next Monday. At least I will know quickly if this pan heater does the trick.

gottahavabenz
01-22-2013, 10:19 PM
I just installed a wolverine 500Watt and holy crap that gets hot and does work, fast. Its nothing compared to an Espar, though its much cheaper if you don't have one.

I think as always Dr. A is probably correct here, I never thought about the starter motor! Lets hope its cheap and easy and not the injector(s)

surlyoldbill
01-23-2013, 02:51 AM
The best solution is to build a garage large enough for your van and assorted workbenches and engine hoists, etc. and keep it heated to 75 degrees. A 90" LED TV on the wall to display the repair manual is nice, too.

willrwilli
01-23-2013, 04:06 AM
The best solution is to build a garage large enough for your van and assorted workbenches and engine hoists, etc. and keep it heated to 75 degrees. A 90" LED TV on the wall to display the repair manual is nice, too.

That would be nice. It's amazing how limited you are with a little 9 foot tall van. LOL

Boater
01-23-2013, 12:20 PM
That would be nice. It's amazing how limited you are with a little 9 foot tall van. LOL

Tell me about it, mine doesn't fit my garage due to height and length issues, but until the weather is nice enough to work out why my starter isn't cranking at full speed (I'm fully expecting to find I missed the terminal on the earth strap with the bolt and it is just resting against the bellhousing creating a partial circuit, or similar dumb issue) it is doing a great job of stopping me getting the car into the garage to work on - double whammy!

Aqua Puttana
01-23-2013, 12:22 PM
...
I think as always Dr. A is probably correct here, I never thought about the starter motor! Lets hope its cheap and easy and not the injector(s)
Not that anyone asked...

I wouldn't want your comment to cause anyone to jump to changing the starter motor. He also mentioned other things. The starter motor amp draw can be tested. I still wouldn't discount high current conduction issues (cables, connections, etc.). There are tests which can be done under the load of the starter to check that also.

My 2003 was hard to start in cold weather. Plugged in block heater. Now starts on 1st turn over of motor. Did replace battery a short time ago and that made a differance.


A good battery helps lots. Proper cranking speed = good speed for compression & good fuel rail high pressure. Both of those are necessary for starting (among the other things Doktor A pointed out) and get harder to achieve in the colder the temperatures. 0w-40 oil helps too.

Supplemental heat helps. I have a small oil pan pad heater. I believe warmer oil on startup is a good thing for many reasons. That said, it shouldn't be necessary until the ambient temperatures get very extremely low.

With 5 good glow plugs, using Power Service Diesel Kleen Antigel (white jug) my 2004 has started consistently well in temperatures well below zero. It is about 5F here today. I plugged in my pan heater for the warmer oil benefit, not because I was worried about starting. Just my opinion. vic

surlyoldbill
01-23-2013, 03:06 PM
Vic, my brother used to light campfires under his GMC diesel pickup to get it to start on a cold morning (below 0). Until he lit it on fire.

Boater
01-23-2013, 05:13 PM
I seem to remember one particular morning staying at my brothers old school's bothy after a night of -18C recorded in the nearest town about 10 miles away and a good bit lower, my brother found the diesel in his T4 starting to wax. Fortunately the previous day we had assembled a variety of plumbing tools to repair the pipework in the bothy because a previous group hadn't drained it down properly and there were pipes burst all over the place, so he was able to use my propane torch to gently warm the engine so it would start. The fuel should have been winterised, the filling stations here do it to all stock through the winter months and we must have emptied the tank with the amount of driving the previous week.

We kind of needed to leave because in the time it took us to get the tools and start work (I am only about an hour away from the place) the supply pipe between the stream and the bothy had frozen up so the only water we had was that which we could melt from snow. We geared up in the dark and went up the hill to find the inlet in the stream, the high inlet had been washed out and was downstream which is normal for it, and was obviously frozen. By carfully breaking the ice on the stream we found the lower inlet was still clear and in the water, we also took the lid off the header tank and broke the ice on it to ensure that the outlet from it was clear, which it seemed to be so somewhere in the 500m between the header and the bothy the mostly buried plastic water pipe (hidden under up to 2 feet of snow) must have frozen. We clearly weren't equipped to deal with that.
Coldest conditions I have been out in - I could feel moisture in my breathe turning to ice crystals. Our weather is reknown for being terrible, but being an island we usually get neither extreme heat nor extreme cold - I know some of you probably have -18C and lower all winter, but that is rare here and we aren't adapted to it! Which is presumably why our winterised diesel was struggling at -18C?

KEC
01-23-2013, 10:30 PM
There are many variables that come into play to perform a successful cold start which can be related to starter RPM, even with a new battery.

Cold start rail pressure, for instance, can be very starter motor RPM sensitive because of multiple issues, leak-off being the most common.

In your case maybe a tired starter motor is being helped by upping the supply voltage.

If your starter motor is relatively healthy, minor injector leak-off (and/or 612 rail solenoid seal leak-off) may make your Sprinter extra sensitive to starting rpm during a cold start.

Doktor A

I also have cold start issues with temps below 30F. Battery is new and 4 new known working glow plugs and block heater. It will take several 15 to 20 mins spins before it starts. That leads me to check for injector leak-off or 612 rail solenoid seal leak-off. I think I know how to check injector leak-off from previous posts but not sure how to check for rail solenoid leak-off. I do have a DAD. I also use a diesel anti-gel additive. It also takes at least 10 mins of warm up before I can put it into drive without stalling. Any suggestions?

Aqua Puttana
01-24-2013, 01:33 PM
... but not sure how to check for rail solenoid leak-off. I do have a DAD. I also use a diesel anti-gel additive. ...Any suggestions?
You can go to DAD Live Data to see the fuel rail high pressure value. You want to check it while cranking in the same conditions that you experience the no start. The book says that you need 2900 psi or higher during cranking for a reliable start.

Look for addtional pages of sensor/operating data in the DAD screen. It's easy to just see the first page and not realize that there are more to click and see.

The OM612 engines do have a bit of history of high pressure seal internal pressure leakage contributing to no start. As time and miles pile up it seems that those seals going bad is more common. That is information, not a diagnosis.

Keep in mind that the DAD's ability to connect to various modules seems to be compromised when the tool is in colder temperatures. Best to start out with everything related to the DAD being warm. Good luck. vic

talkinghorse43
01-24-2013, 02:37 PM
I also have cold start issues with temps below 30F. Battery is new and 4 new known working glow plugs and block heater. It will take several 15 to 20 mins spins before it starts. That leads me to check for injector leak-off or 612 rail solenoid seal leak-off. I think I know how to check injector leak-off from previous posts but not sure how to check for rail solenoid leak-off. I do have a DAD. I also use a diesel anti-gel additive. It also takes at least 10 mins of warm up before I can put it into drive without stalling. Any suggestions?

Definitely sounds like a fuel problem. I'd make sure there isn't an air leak into the fuel system somewhere upstream of the low pressure fuel pump. Once you get it started, look at the transparent fuel lines to see air bubbles or foam.

willrwilli
02-04-2013, 05:18 PM
Well here is the latest. I bought a wolverine pan heater that it has been too cold to install, but I have found a pattern that has been working. For the last week in Cleveland the high temperature has only been in the low 20's. if I go outside and cycle the glow plugs 4 times it will start on the first attempt. I am still going to install the heater just waiting for the temps to go above FREEZING.